on December 7, 2002
It's certainly my favorite Survivor season, and I've been watching since the beginning!
This DVD I found in many ways to be better than the Season One DVD, but that's simply because of the cast and the way the DVD is organized. The extras on this one are pretty nice as well -- you even can go to the expanded Survivor 2 website directly via the DVD just by popping it in the computer. Of course, this can get annoying when you are just trying to WATCH the DVD on the computer and it keeps trying to go to the website. But I can overlook that.
Survivor Season 2 is only two hours long. How did they condense a full season of 14 hours into only two? Alot of the goodies were skipped, unfortunately, and will be skipped until CBS decides to put out a complete season DVD (hint hint). You'll be waiting for the next immunity challenge, and it will skip directly to the Tribal Council. Yuck!
I liked that this DVD seemed to touch on all the most dramatic moments of the season (all my favorite parts were there) so I can live with choppy editing. The nasty bug eating challenge was still there. The Jerri vs Colby nastiness was still there. So not ALL of the goodies were taken out.
Also included were clips of the audition tapes of these survivors, which I loved seeing. Other than that, there's not a ton of 'outrageous' footage that you've never seen before (or CBS would have shown it).
It's not a perfect DVD, but if you're a Survivor Fan, it's a must-own anyways.
on October 24, 2001
First off, let me just say here that I absolutely adored "Survivor 2." And this is coming from a person who wasn't even going to watch it.
I never watched the original "Survivor." I must have been one of about three people on the planet who couldn't tell you anything about the original show. I still can't; I have yet to see it, and I don't intend on doing so very soon. But I gave "Survivor 2" a try after some prodding by a friend, and I was hooked after the very first episode.
I immediately fell in love with Elisbeth and Rodger after the first episode, as did a lot of America. I rooted for them every episode, and I was thrilled to see them get as far as they did.
But anyway . . . onto the review of this tape, right? That is, after all, what you're here for isn't it? :)
This is a video that wanted to be much better. It has a lot of deleted footage that viewers haven't seen (including a cute hide-and-go-seek scene played by Colby, Elisabeth, and Tina). It gives all of the Tribal Councils, and who voted for the person that got booted off at that particular Council.
This video goes through each person one by one, and it ultimately ends up with that person getting voted off. The only problem here is that each sequence is too brief; we get maybe two or three key scenes for each character, and then we're back to Tribal Council.
There are still some classic scenes that were not left on the cutting room floor. Things like Alicia's and Kimmi's "finger waving head bobbing" scene; and the very gripping sequence where Mike falls into the fire. But so many other things are omitted - things like Colby's mom coming to visit, and Mike chasing after the boar. Many of the Immunity Challenges are left out, as well.
At the end of the video, the final ten contestants' appearances on The Early Show are shown. These are not the full interviews, but rather, just snippets of the interviews.
In short, this is a fine video that wanted to be better. Here's hoping that someone realizes a DVD or VHS set of the whole series would be a smart idea. One two-and-a-half hour video just doesn't suffice for 42 days worth of footage.
on October 2, 2001
I am a die-hard Survivor fanatic. And I enjoyed the second season of the show, in particular. How does its DVD stack up against the first release? Ehh... It is essentially the same feature that the first release had: a two hour retrospective on the season. But that's where the similarities end.
First off, the good. For every tribal council you get to view the comments of everyone who voted specifically for the person who was voted off. The Special Features show us a lot of the footage from The Early Show. Some of the included audition videos are quite amusing. And there are a few moments of footage in the feature that we never saw on tv.
Now, the bad. Too many of the challenges are left off. Many of the show's best (and most notorious) moments are nowhere to be found, including the pig hunt. Unlike the season one disk, there are no animated menus (a major error, for DVD lovers). And the data on voting history is also missing; while the Early Show footage is nice, there is but a fraction of what was found on the special features last time (and that wasn't a lot, to begin with). Heck, the post-Survivor special that CBS showed could've been included as an easy bonus, but it's not even here. I could've also used more footage of Elisabeth and Rodger, but that's just me.
In essence, this is a bare bones release. I love Survivor, but I'm disappointed with this DVD. It could've been so much better. It's a good refresher, if you just gotta see those sixteen people again. But hard-core Survivor fans will probably be disappointed in the lack of attention and care that was given to this project. THREE STARS.
on October 1, 2001
I need to preface this review with this note: I am a HUGE fan of "Survivor," and despite the bad reviews, I actually enjoyed the DVD of the first season quite a bit.
There's nothing very interesting in this "best of" compilation. It basically starts off with each contestant's audition tape/interview, then proceeds to one scene of something that happened to them during their stay. This is immediately followed by tribal council and their final words. Unlike the first season's video release, there are no additional challenges here, there isn't any additional nudity or profanity (other than the one of Alicia and Kimmi fighting, which we've seen on TV at least a thousand times by now), there isn't any graphic footage of Michael slaughtering the pig. In fact, even the "Symbolic Tribal Council" for Michael's departure that Mark Burnett said wasn't shown on TV but would turn up on the DVD didn't make the final cut.
What do you get as far as additional features go? There's footage from all the contestants' appearances on The Early Show. If you have a DVD Rom drive, they've recreated the official CBS web site for the show on disc - including the weekly show summaries, contestant profiles, popularity poll ratings, Outback feature, games and the Real Media video clips. This is rather interesting, since you can read about what happened during their stay in the Outback in full detail, with pictures and video supplementing the experience. However, not all of the video clips on the online site made the transfer to the disc. So basically, if you have an internet connection, logging on to the official site is still a better option.
What's good about the DVD? The transfer is brilliant. You can see actual rainfall during scenes where it didn't seem to be raining when the scenes were aired on network TV. But for me to be writing a review about a show and to have to focus on this aspect should tell you what you really need to know about this DVD. After months of anticipation, it's quite a letdown.
on September 22, 2001
This was a very disappointing package compaired to the first Survivor DVD. The main feature runs 122 minutes, and many of the things promised to be shown in the DVD are not there. You will not see Michael kill the pig, or the ghost Tribal Counsel where Michael's torch was put out. You won't see very many challenges, and it does not show complete tribal counsels. The main feature is done in the exact same way as the Survivor 1 DVD was done. They give you an introduction to the game, then they show you a profile of each player in the order they were voted out, complete with audition tapes and interviews. You then see a quick feature on what they were like in the Game (mostly what led to them getting kicked out). They then show everyone who voted for that person read their vote to the camera. Then they show the person's "exit speech." For the final vote, they show who everyone voted for, and then they show the final vote get read off. There is then a quick, meaningless preview for Survivor 3 that gives you no information whatsoever.
Next, there is the special features. In the Survivor 1 DVD, they had detailed profiles on all the Survivors, their final words, voting history, favorite things, etc. None of that is present here. There are no profiles, exit interviews, etc. However, they do give you clipped footage of the castaways' Early Show interviews, and that's it. There is also one DVD ROM feature that I couldn't test out.
on October 12, 2001
I really enjoyed both Survivor 1 and 2, and have purchased both DVD's. While very disappointed with the first DVD, I purchased the second DVD in hopes that there would be some improvement. Unfortunately, it is worse than the first DVD. Where the producers of the DVD could have taken a full two hours to tell the story of Survivor 2, they instead chose to really show clips of the survivors, followed by audition footage. For someone who has never seen the show, the DVD will seem incoherent and impossible to follow. For example, there is no insight given as to why anyone votes the way they do, all we see are five people voting a particular way. There is no mention of any tie votes or strategies going on. All of the suspense and drama that made Survivor so enjoyable is lost. I can only hope that the third time will be the charm on making Survivor DVD's.
on April 28, 2002
I am a big Survivor fan and Survivor 2 has been my favorite edition of the series so far. With that said, I was a bit disappointed by this video. Parts of all the tribal coucils are here along with each guest's parting words and clips from their audition tapes. However, there really isn't much footage from the actual show itself. Mike's pig slaughter isn't even discussed, other than in passing, and there isn't any more footage surrounding Mike's accident. In fact, there isn't much new footage at all. At the end of the tape there are Early Show interviews with each of the final 10 contestants but those have been edited, too and some of the best parts are gone, e.g. Rodger discussing the alliance he, Mike, and Elisabeth had that would have taken them to the final three if Mike hadn't gotten hurt. Nevertheless, I enjoyed watching this tape because it was a pleasure seeing some of my favorite people from television again. They had a great group of people in this version of the game and it was nice to re-visit them again. A nice summary of the show that fans can appreciate and reminisce.
on December 27, 2001
I am a big fan of Survivor and I enjoyed having some new Survivor II video to watch. There is definitely nothing hugely exciting or revealing in this DVD. If you're expecting to see the uncensored pig-killing footage, or the uncensored footage of Mike burning his hands, you will be disappointed. But what you will see are some extra details of the game, for example: at every tribal council, the survivors offer reasons for voting the way they did as they hold up the name. Usually on the TV show you only get to see 1 or 2 explanations, because they want to maintain the drama/surprise. This DVD shows what almost all of them actually said when they voted each other off. You get the "final words" of all the survivors as well. You also get all of the Early Show interviews (edited for length however). The main portion of this DVD goes through each survivor in the order they were booted, you get to see portions of their audition tape and also some footage from their audition interviews. I was surprised at the total length of this DVD: 2 hours of retrospective and 1 hour of Early Show interviews, for 3 hours total! The boring parts are: seeing the same old footage that you've seen a thousand times before, and also even some of the footage is repeated from the retrospective and the Early Show interviews. I haven't seen the Season 1 DVD so I can't compare to that. Some of this video may have appeared on the web site but it's good to have it in normal video format. This is the first DVD I have seen that originated from a D1 video source, and I was amazed at how sharp and clear the picture was. The DVD-ROM offers the Survivor 2 web site, but it tried to install "InterActual Player" on my computer. I was able to surf website contained on the DVD straight from the disc without installing that player. Overall, this DVD is a good gift to receive if you are a fan of Survivor. I wouldn't pay my own money for it though.
on April 11, 2003
The Best Season Of All! Sadly, this is only a 2-hour highlight DVD with never-before-seen footage. But not what you might think. Most of that are interviews or audition tapes. There is no nudity in this DVD version. Kel Gleason was the man I cheered for to win and Mike Skupin I thought early on would be a sure winner, but Survivor contains many unexpected surprises by nature or an act of God. We all remember Mike when the smoke from the campfire made him pass out and he fell in the fire. You will NOT see any additional footage of that here. I wish a complete, all episodes, unedited, uncensored version of Survivor 2 were made. On this DVD in the special features section is a retrospective interview of each Survivor on the CBS "The Early Show".
on May 1, 2002
The DVD is good for those who didn't follow the show when it was on, as it gives a good summary of the series as a whole. However, for those who followed it, as I did, the DVD was quite a disappointment. It just seemed as though they showed a couple of extra minutes of what was already seen on TV. There were little "outrageous moments" on the DVD. What was nice, though, were the Tribal Councils, in which each contestant's 'confessions' on camera were shown, instead of only a few seconds of it. Also included are excerpts from each contestant's audition tape and interview, which are quite entertainig. However, overall, the DVD was a disappointment and added very little to what was already shown.